Your cart
Close Alternative Icon
Due to COVID-19, you may experience delays in shipping or delivery. Due to COVID-19, you may experience delays in shipping and delivery.

Origins: Apes and Aliens

Arrow Thin Right Icon
Origins: Apes and Aliens

ApeSketches

At the end of last summer (2019), I found myself drawing apes. No real reason. Perhaps, it was because I still subscribe to the vintage notion that apes are inherently funny. Drawing a few pages of primates cavorting brought a smile to my face. (Making myself smile is the chief reason to draw.)

ApeAccountatnt

In September, I posted this drawing of an ape on my Flickr page. I liked the way that a few simple props could suggest a career. That led to more ape sketches with wardrobe details and props to suggest occupations. (See below.)

Gang

In November, I thought about bringing lots of different apes together...perhaps a crowded coffee shop. (See below.)

CoffeeShop

I still like this idea of a coffee shop. I might come back to it in the future with a wider range of creatures. Watch for a letterpress print based on the idea of having coffee with aliens. Meanwhile, for a jigsaw puzzle, it seemed like there ought to be a lot more characters than one can fit into a coffee shop. Dozens? Hundreds?

Memory Lane. Back when I had a real job, I flew to client meetings almost every week. I spent way too much time in airports. I was inspired to do a rough sketch with apes queueing in those long, snaky lines I remembered from countless hours in U.S. airports. (See below.)

Cuing

The sketch above convinced me this could make a distinctive jigsaw puzzle. All I needed to do was draw and color 150 different apes. Get started.

Winter work. Day after day, I got to draw ape travelers and alien travelers. First in pencil and then inked with brush pens. (See below.) Each character would audition for a place in the design. Many were rejected. I scanned and colored the finalists digitally and added each to the airport scene. 

Characters

 

Airports always seemed to have advertising posters mixed in with the travelers. So I added some posters to break up the crowds. In December, I was fooling around with a pattern based on fig newtons, so that pattern became one of the posters. (See below.) Other posters promote bananas and space travel. Of course.

FigNewtonPoster

 ********

This puzzle design is already an outdated anachronism. I finished the design at the end of February 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic starting inconveniencing the U.S. Just before everyone decided to stop going to airports and to wear masks outside the house. (Only one traveler in the scene is wearing a mask. See below.)

masked

 

Don’t forget, jigsaw puzzles can be an amusing diversion for people trapped in their homes as plagues sweep back and forth across the land. So, I’m working on a few more designs. Designing them is a good activity for me while I’m under house arrest.

Don–Pittsburgh, July 24, 2020

 

Comments on this post (8)

  • Aug 07, 2020

    I could hardly wait for this puzzle to arrive. Now I wonder who’s crazier. Don, for drawing twisting lines apes and aliens, or me, for saying ‘sure, cut it into 1000 pieces and I will buy it from you so I can put it back together’. It’s an endlessly fascinating picture. Thanks goodness, because it will be on the kitchen table at least until next April. Thank you for sharing your vision.

    — Pam

  • Aug 05, 2020

    DGRYCEbXTHi

    — nDwmQdrieSAkRX

  • Aug 05, 2020

    nysYPADKMfkuvC

    — KqrEApYOXk

  • Jul 31, 2020

    I enjoy your site!

    — Fran Fine

  • Jul 26, 2020

    Don, love this puzzle and the Fig Newton’s clinched the DEAL!
    Im thinking the monkey in the frame toward the puzzle bottom would be a fab diversion for children during their forced incarceration if kind if bedraggled parental units would pull out the applicable pieces. Puzzles of course are good for developing minds! When you create more puzzles, please consider these puzzles within a puzzle for little ones. Thanks ever so!

    — ELIZABETH ABRAMS

  • Jul 26, 2020

    Is that an ape carrying a very large chisel in line at the airport? I don’t think he’s going to make it through Security. It does look like he’s trying VERY hard to look nonchalant. “These aren’t the weapons you are looking for.”

    — Virginia

  • Jul 24, 2020

    I love everything about your improbable art and humor. Thank you 😊

    — Carol Wilkerson

  • Jul 24, 2020

    I get such a kick out of your blog posts (and of course artwork). Thanks for keeping me laughing.

    — Lisa

Leave a comment

Recent posts
Origins: Apes and Aliens
Origins: Close Encounter
More Masks
Replacing Handshakes
Sketching During Scourge